Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weary, Hot & Miserable in Noodle..

This drought is an awful, despicable thing. This is one of the worst droughts Texas has ever seen in a CENTURY and in my neck of the woods there is no end or relief in sight.

The grass fires that rampaged through the state wouldn’t have been so bad, if only they had been followed by rain.

Here’s a picture of the grass fire on the back of our property we had earlier in the year:


This one burned a lil more than ½ of our property…hubby and I stood outside of the goat pen with fire extinguishers and hoses until the fire department arrived....The fire stopped a mere 10ft from the goat pen... Thankfully nothing of importance was lost. Volunteer fire fighters put out our blaze and were quite efficient. Do support those volunteer boys when you can, with all the fires we've had across the state those boys have been run ragged!

I traveled to other areas a few hours east of us in the state and they at least had green vegetation and a bit of rainfall (in fact when I went that direction to get Tonka it was raining).

Here the rainfall we received was nothing more than a cruel joke…a spatter here and there, barely wetting the topsoil. OR, we got a nice run of tornados and hail, both of which brought very little rain. Only once this year have we actually had a puddle of water on the ground…that puddle was quickly soaked up in mere hours.

All the vegetation is dead or dying.. I planted a nice, huge plot of Rye, Rape Grass & Clovers for the goats……they came up well & were thriving, but the continued absence of water caused the wilting that rapidly led to death. Past few days we’ve had temps ranging from 102° to 111°! After the sun has gone down it gradually creeps down to 100°...Sad that the 90° nights actually seem cool.

Poor goats are hot and miserable, milk production is on a rollercoaster thanks to the heat and most days everyone is drooping.

Since our days have been well over 100° degrees, the kids get cabin fever as they aren’t the sort to be happily cooped up inside. So to help everyone the kids and I have been foraging.

We get up early while it’s still cool enough to be outside….. milk, feed & refill water troughs & buckets.

Then we grab a wheel barrow, some shears & set out to find yummies for the goats.

Mostly tree clippings, and whatever green grass we can find on our walks. The kids have a blast, they take turns pushing the wheel barrow, pointing out what they think looks yummy and the goats benefit too. So far we’ve been able to gather one wheel barrow full every morning & the goats LOVE it.


Sabrina & Lilly enjoying tree clippings. Look how big Lilly is! She's only 4 months old!


The girls. Sabrina up front, Lilly in the center, Tootsie & Keys (mini Alpines on right)


Bleuberry scattered the pile.

You would think it odd that an activity that sounds like a chore would be so fun for the kids, but they have a blast. They help out quite a bit, and eagerly too, and when I take over they hunt up lizards and whatever else catches their eye.


The baby boys & their goodies. Tonka (Lamancha) up front & Houston (mini Alpine buck) next to him.


Houston the mini Alpine buck, Sam my Alpine boy in the background..he was camera shy.


My handsome earless wonder Tonka, I simply adore this boy.

We do this until about 10:30 or 11:00, then we play “Water Hose War“, which is basically me shooting them with the sprayer, or them trying to limbo under the water, or my favorite.. making them run laps while I see how many times I can shoot them.. Then they get to play outside until they are damp dry, and by that time it’s time for lunch and they can settle in to weather the hottest part of the day indoors.

I see no end to the drought this year, but hopefully next summer Mother Nature will be a little more generous with that rainfall!


Anonymous said...

If you find the rain, send it out our way. East Texas has had less rain than Noodleville... hard to believe but true.
Glad the grandkids are finding it entertaining to help with the chores. They are wonderful to help when they are here. They are our little farm kids!
Keep Noodleville coming.

Marissa said...

Ah come on, you aren't enjoying the endless drought?!?! We actually got a good hit of rain last week. The yard EXPLODED in rain lilies. They were burnt to a crisp the next day. Mother Nature giveth and then she taketh back...

Pam's Pride said...

Wow! That was scary having the fire come that close! To bad we can not combine our weather! It would be PERFECT and beautiful then! It is has been cold and rainy here! I am thinking I should have planted rice instead of tomatoes! My poor goats hooves have been in nothing but soggy high grass since the snow melted!

Your goats are beautiful!!

* Crystal * said...

LOL...I think East Texas has had more than us. The storms that hit Abilene gave us no rain, BOTH Abilene storms that is. Hawley got some sprinkles, we got none. Eula & Clyde got rain, we missed those too....Heck, Merkel, right up the road, got some minor rain.....Not a SINGLE drop of water has touched our property.....We got tornados, we got hail, but no rain. I think Noodle has a giant bowl over it blocking everything but the sun. I will say, last time we were in East Texas, I was reminded that I am not a fan of the humidity....At least our heat is dry... Oh, those lil farm kids should be invading your home Friday night :-) Jerimiah is driving up Friday after work with the kids to stay for the weekend & celebrate 4th of July. I'll be staying behind as I don't have a relief milker, my mom is in Florida...

Pam, I would be in heaven of we could combine our weather....LOL about the rice....Might be worth doing! :)

Marissa, no, lol I'm not enjoying the drought. I can relate to the drastic changes....We had that long, bazaar Ice storm late January/February & then skipped Spring, jumped right into summer & have been going strong ever since....Heck, I shaved the goats down before EASTER because it was too hot for them...

Melody said...

I wish I could send you some of our rain and pastures. We have too much of both right now, which while that's a pretty high quality problem its still one we don't have under control.

Have you tried washing your car? that works pretty well around here...we call it the Indiana rain dance :D

* Crystal * said...

"Indiana rain dance" LOL!!! Sadly Melody, even the Texas version of the rain dance has failed too... Though last year it worked quite well.

I LOVE the rain.... could have it for weeks straight & I'd happily do chores in it.... Since our chances for ending this drought this year look slim, I'm hoping Mother Nature will dump it on us next year...Sure people will be griping about the mud & puddles, but I'll be blissfully rolling in them :-)

Oat Bucket Farm said...

Your goats are beautiful, Tonka is really growing!

We have a drought going on here too. Like Noodle, we seem to have a bowl over us and everything keeps going around us. We have kept the gardens watered and they are nice and green, but the yard area is brown and crispy.

Caliann said...

I am afraid we aren't any better, Crystal. We've had 4 inches of rain all year. 2 1/2 inches in January, and a few weeks ago, we got 1 1/2 in the tornado storm that destroyed two of my sheds. And no end in sight.

I know it can be expensive, but goats don't live on pellets alone. Have you considered turning that sprinkler on your pastures? I am setting sprinklers and cheap hoses throughout and watering. I did the figures on it and watering my pastuer is cheaper than buying hay.

I may buy hay anyway. If I can borrow a gooseneck trailer from someone, or lease one, I'll make a road trip to Kansas for a load of hay.

Leigh said...

Love those goat photos! So sweet. We've done the goodies-for-the-goats in the wheelbarrow too. Now they start begging anytime they see me with it, LOL

My heart goes out to you with that heat and drought. We broke a drought here in the Carolinas last year. We still have the wilting heat (which some of my plants can't make it through), but nothing like what you've got.

I used to live in Texas and absolutely loved it there. The friendliest people I ever met were Texans. But the summers are hot. And dry. This midwestern yankee always had trouble with that.

* Crystal * said...

Caliann....sorry your in the same boat as us. Rotten time to live in Texas. Of course they don't get only pellets....Fertilized, irrigated coastal hay is left out free choice, they also get sudan & a weedy haygrazer mix for variety (they love it!).... Add to that unlimited Standlee brand alfalfa pellets, whole grains on the milk stand & at least 5 wheel barrows of tree trimmings per week....It's extra work, but they have a very well rounded diet & are thriving.

Leigh- Texans are great people! Love the people, the culture, but hate the summers! haha

Thank you for the compliments on the goats, they are rotten :)

Mine too get over eager when they see a wheel barrow....even if I'm only bringing it out for yard work :p Silly goats!